Published: Dec. 9, 2008
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
You have just undergone major laparoscopic surgery at the Duke Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Even though we always make an attempt to give instructions to patients prior to discharge, you may not recall what was said. This page should answer most of your questions.
We will discuss your surgery again in detail at your post-op visit in two to four weeks. If you haven’t already done so, please call to make your appointment as soon as possible.
Although you have just undergone a major surgery, your recovery will be significantly shorter than normal because the surgery was performed through much smaller incisions than the traditional approach. You should feel slightly better each day.
It’s important during the early part of your recovery that you maintain some activity. Walking is encouraged. You will quicken your recovery by continued activity.
If you suddenly feel much worse than the prior day, please call the clinic.
Your incisions will be closed with dissolvable stitches or surgical adhesive (glue). There may be Band-Aids covering your incisions. If there is no drainage from the incisions, you may remove the Band-Aids in one to two days.
You may notice some minor bruising at the incision sites. This is common and will resolve within several days. Please inform us if the redness at the edges of your incision appears to be spreading. If the skin around your incision becomes warm to the touch, or if you notice a pus-like drainage, please call the office.
Minor vaginal bleeding or spotting is normal following a hysterectomy. Bleeding similar to the amount of your period is excessive, and you should inform us of this immediately.
Vaginal spotting may continue for several weeks following your surgery. You may notice a yellowish discharge that occasionally occurs as the vaginal stitches dissolve, and it may last for several weeks.
Do not have sexual intercourse or place tampons or douches in the vagina prior to your first office visit. We will discuss when you may resume these activities at that visit.
Please resume taking any medications that you were taking prior to the surgery. If we have prescribed any new medications for you, please take them as directed.
It is fairly common to experience some difficulty moving your bowels following major surgery. Being active will help to reduce this likelihood. A diet rich in fiber and plenty of liquids is desirable. If you do become constipated, a mild laxative such as Miralax®, Milk of Magnesia®, or Metamucil®, or a stool softener such as Colace®, is recommended.
If you develop a fever of 100.5 degrees F or higher, please call 919-660-2370 during the day or 919-684-8111 after hours and ask for your doctor or the gynecology resident physician on call.